Published Friday, June 21, 2013 AT 12:08 AM / Updated at 12:08 AM
On tap: UCLA vs. North Carolina
Steven Pivovar Omaha World-Herald

A capsulized look at Game 12 of the College World Series, set for a 7 p.m. start Friday.

* * *

UCLA (46-17)

Pitcher: LH Grant Watson (8-3, 3.22 ERA, 52 strikeouts)

Top hitters: 3B Kevin Kramer (.280, 11 2Bs, 3 HRs, 41 RBIs, .387 on-base percentage); 1B Pat Gallagher (.278, 1 HR, 20 RBIs); RF Eric Filia (.275, 1 HR, 26 RBIs, .382 on-base percentage)

How they got here: The Bruins have scored four runs in winning their first two games in Omaha, posting 2-1 victories against LSU and North Carolina State.

Trends: In 64 innings in the NCAA tournament, the six pitchers UCLA has used have allowed 66 base runners. They’ve given up 49 hits and 13 walks while hitting four batters. Opposing hitters have gotten 12 extra-base hits — nine doubles, one triple and two home runs — and are batting .212 against the Bruins.

UCLA will win if: Watson delivers the kind of performance Omaha has come to expect from UCLA pitchers. He hasn’t pitched since the regional championship game, when he and two relievers combined to one-hit San Diego. Bruins coach John Savage said Watson has stayed sharp with bullpen sessions and throwing in simulated games.


Pitcher: RH Benton Moss (8-1, 3.78 ERA, 91 strikeouts) or LH Kent Emanuel (11-4, 3.22 ERA, 91 strikeouts)

Top hitters: 1B Cody Stubbs (.359, 26 2Bs, 8 HRs, 76 RBIs, .571 slugging percentage); DH Landon Lassiter (.353, 14 2Bs, 1 HR, 28 RBIs, 53 walks, .489 on-base percentage); 3B Colin Moran (.350, 13 HRs, 91 RBIs, .552 slugging percentage, 63 BBs, .476 on-base percentage).

How they got here: After a listless performance against North Carolina State in an 8-1 opening-game loss, the Tar Heels have come back to eliminate LSU with a 4-2 win and North Carolina State with a 7-0 victory.

Trends: North Carolina has shown plenty of resilience in the NCAA tournament, winning four straight elimination games. The Tar Heels knocked Florida Atlantic out of the tournament with an epic 12-11 13-inning win in the regional final. After dropping the second game of the super regional, North Carolina bounced back with a 5-4 win to get to Omaha. It added two more backs-to-the-wall wins at TD Ameritrade Park.

North Carolina will win if: The Tar Heels keep swinging away. North Carolina, its lineup heavy with left-handers, packs plenty of firepower as it goes against another left-hander in UCLA’s Watson. The Tar Heels will be facing a left-handed pitcher for the seventh straight game and 32nd time this season.

About Steven Pivovar

Steven Pivovar is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and primarily covers Creighton athletics and the College World Series. You can follow Steven on Twitter (@PivOWH) or email him at